Order Picking with Ubimax’s xBand now under Patent Protection

Julia Widmer, August 22, 2018

Ubimax’s order picking solution xPick with its RFID based multisensor wristband xBand is officially patent protected. A comparative study of the Swedish research institute at Chalmers University of Technology documents RFID-scanning as most efficient confirmation method for manual order picking processes without cost intensive shelf electronics. Put to practice, Ubimax customer Schnellecke Logistics cuts picking time by 25% and reduces process errors up to 50% with the multi-sensor wristband.

Bremen, August 22, 2018: Ubimax, the leading supplier for enterprise wearable computing and augmented reality solutions, today announces the official patent protection of its Radio-Frequency Identification Reader (RFID) confirmation technology used in its wrist worn xBand device. The semi-exclusive licensing contract with patent holder Safelog⁽¹⁾, accounts for eleven European countries including Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The patent protection guarantees Ubimax’s customers legal security and exerts pressure on competitors with no patent access. Complementing the Ubimax Frontline solutions, xBand⁽²⁾ is a Ubimax owned confirmation wearable, designed to optimize intralogistics processes based on RFID technology. With recent study results attesting RFID technology the same efficiency level as confirmation methods with significantly higher capital expenses, customers such as Schnellecke Logistics realize performance improvements already today.

Deployed in combination with smart glasses, smartwatches or tablets, xBand eliminates the need for barcode scanners, manual verification or check digit confirmations leaving both hands free for pick-and-put activities during manual intralogistics processes simply by placing RFID tags on each shelf location instead of the item itself. To account for different location and box sizes, xBand allows a precise modification of reading distance on the fly. Completely eliminating the time-consuming confirmation activities enables significantly faster, more ergonomic and flexible working processes without compromising on quality. Through the integrated RFID reader, the xBand communicates with the host device via Bluetooth or WiFi. Further, the Inertial Measurement Unit sensor allows for gesture and activity recognition.

The results of the study⁽³⁾ by the University of Chalmers, Department of Technology Management & Economics, attest RFID scanning highest efficiency compared to other confirmation methods such as barcode-scanning and voice commands. “Together with our partnering companies such as Volvo, DB Schenker and Scania, we tested different confirmation methods, used as both pick-from-shelf and place-to-kit confirmation”, explains Patrik Fager, PhD student at Chalmers University. “Efficiency results varied over 59% and the combination of double RFID wristband picking with Ubimax’s xBand proved to be much more efficient than voice confirmation or barcode scan confirmation. We can see RFID ringing in new levels for intralogistics processes within industry 4.0!”

Ubimax customers relying on xBand report significant performance improvements across all verticals. Wolfsburg based VW and Porsche supplier Schnellecke Logistics reports a 22% process speed increase while errors have reached a company history’s low. “With our digital solutions, we leverage what industry 4.0 has to offer. With Ubimax’s xBand, we managed to reach an error rate of zero and cut process costs – with more to come in the future”, says Dr. Abaid Goda, Senior Manager IT- Operation at Schnellecke Logistics. Dr. Hendrik Witt, Ubimax CEO is enthusiastic about the xBand’s short but intense development: “We really see the USP our xBand offers across logistics at our global customer sites. Based on the official validation by research and the semi-exclusive patent license, we expect Ubimax Frontline with xBand to become a standard solution for intralogistics and further industrial scenarios within the next five years.”

⁽¹⁾ patent no EP1630716A1/B1

⁽²⁾ https://www.ubimax.com/de/news/wearables-in-the-spotlight-de.html

⁽³⁾ Patrik Fager; Robin Hanson; Lars Medbo, Mats Johansson: Order picking in dense areas – productivity impact of confirmation methods in: Conference Proceedings of the 25th International EurOMA Conference Budapest, Hungary, 2018-06-24 - 2018-06-26